Plan is a document which is a project of the organization's future, what owners and managers want want (objectives and goals), including effective measures for its implementation. The main feature of the plan is its goal orientation. It is formulated to ensure the smooth implementation of business objectives. Plans should anticipate what actions lead to the intended purpose.
Another important feature of plan is the primacy of planning. Planning is the foundation of all other functions of management, because without a plan it is difficult to perform other vital management tasks e.g.: organization, human resources management and control.
Another important feature of plan is its completeness. This means that planning must be a function of every manager at every level of management, then it becomes a useful tool in achieving the objectives. Plans created at different levels of decision-making in the organization must be integrated together to contribute to better decision making, achieving of goals and ongoing monitoring of its implementation.
The last principle says that the plans must be effective to implement. This becomes possible when organization reaches stated goals and objectives with a minimum of undesirable consequences and without the excess expenditures.
Subject of planning
The subject of planning are: goals (final and intermediate desired states of affairs), to which the company aspires, methods of achieving these objectives, the necessary resource (personal, property, financial, informational), as well as methods for their acquisition, all important operations (tasks, activities), time and place of their execution.
Basically planning process includes: forecasting, programming and development of plan.
Forecasting involves predicting future phenomena and processes, as the forecast is information about the most likely shape the future. Plan as a set of decisions involves actively shaping the company's future and development.
Programming is a set of activities aiming to establish a formalized description of the objectives of the organization and to determine the optimal means of their implementation. Creating a plan also applies to the design of future business. Planning differs from programming because usually managers develop several variants of programs, while the plan is usually only one based on best variant.
The plan is a set of decisions, while the program indicates the direction and ways of achieving the objectives.